TOKYO (REUTERS) - The Tokyo Olympics will provide a model for hosting the Games during a pandemic after rising Covid-19 infections forced organisers to ban spectators at most events, Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto said on Sunday (July 11).
"This will be the first Olympics held during a pandemic, and Tokyo will provide a model for how that is done," Mr Muto said on a political debate programme aired by public broadcaster NHK.
Athletes will not have to compete in completely empty venues because Olympic officials and journalists will be there, he added.
Organisers on Thursday said there would be no spectators in host city Tokyo as a resurgent coronavirus forced Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to declare a state of emergency in the capital that will run throughout the Games. Most events outside Tokyo will also take place without spectators.
Speaking on the same programme as Mr Muto, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato and the country's top health adviser, Dr Shigeru Omi, urged people to stay home during the games.
"We would ask people to support athletes from home," Mr Kato said.